Knowledge19 - Day 1 - Digital Workflows (1 of 5)

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Knowledge19 - Day 1 - Digital Workflows

(1 of 5)

You're here because like me you weren't able to make to Las Vegas this year and also like me are keen to know what was the latest news from ServiceNow. Well in you're in good hands, so sit back, relax, put on some comfy slippers as I guide you through everything that is Knowledge19.


First up - the keynote by John Donahue, CJ Desai & Farrell Hough. It all started with John giving us a reminder of ServiceNow's vision to make work better for people, followed by reminder of his roots and the rising consumerization of the workplace and the dominance of mobile. Clearly setting the stage for what was to come.



How would I sum up the keynote this year? - Mobile & Workspace. They seemed to be the reoccurring themes in terms of new functionality that is coming in the next release; New York. There were newly designed workspaces built for Operators (Network Operation Centre type roles) and Service Owners as well as the Agent Workspace getting some nice upgrades with a new introduction page.

All providing new useful functionality with 360 views and better still presented in a really clean user interface (other major software vendors could learn a thing or two from ServiceNow when it comes to user interfaces).



Sure it's all nice stuff, but it is kind of window dressing on existing data. Where was the game changer? You could argue that it came in mobile form: both a simple no-code/low-code app creator as well as new apps for the requester and employee onboarding - more about that in a minute. Yes this years first keynote was very mobile focused.

It was clear they were now rail-roading on their recent acquisitions and going full on mobile. The requester app looked again clean simple and intuitive and will be a welcome addition to any company with its pre-built support for Service Catalog functionality. ServiceNow had some catching up to do in the mobile space with their competitors, but it appears after the New York release they will be in a better position - question is will it be enough? 



Then came the mobile app for onboarding. Now here is a topic that seems to be have kicking around for a while and a regular attendee at ServiceNow keynotes. It just goes to show what a tricky process this is to master and how they have the platform to address it. Some nice touches were the ease at sorting an employee badge photo and ordering a new laptop. Ultra simple.

But have they finally solved the onboarding challenge? just maybe. I guess we won't really know until we get our hands on the new functionality and see how easy it is get the level of experience we saw on the stage. It looks however very promising indeed. 



Other items of note were the forthcoming addition of Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to their Virtual Agent (that's ServiceNow lingo for ChatBot). An addition that quite frankly couldn't come soon enough and now actually makes their chatbot technology much more scalable than its current (wizard style) form.



Of definite interest to me was the expansion of IntegrationHub. It was already an amazing function, but it just got elevated to "awesome". Now don't underestimate that - remember this is an Englishman writing this text and we generally frown on the use of the word awesome out of context. However IntegrationHub is awesome, well American awesome. Code free integrations are where we're heading and ServiceNow are leading the way.

There were also two inspiring customer presentations by United and Virgin Trains, which sadly the latter many may have missed as the keynote over ran slightly. But perhaps this wasn't an accident as they saved their bombshell till last... a new product: Finance Operations Management. Well if the cloud wars hadn't begun properly, it has now.

ServiceNow having refrained from stepping on SalesForce's toes by entering into CRM, just took a big stomp on Workday's. Let's see what happens. They certainly aren't afraid of entering new areas and taking the lead - see Software Asset Management as a great example. There they have already been identified as "Visionary" by Gartner.



That's all from me on this morning's (or evenings) keynote - next up Customer Workflows.

/Elliot West


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